Smokey Eggplant and Caper Dip
1 large eggplant
To prepare eggplant, trim top and end off. Split horizontally in two and lightly salt. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Pat off any moisture with a paper towel. Paint top with vegetable oil. Place cut side down on a shallow microwave ovenproof baking sheet or pan. Cover with wax paper. Microwave on High, 12-16 minutes. Test to see if eggplant is done by piercing with a fork. It should be absolutely tender. If not, cook in additional increments of 3 minutes on High.
1 tablespoon minced onion
1-2 tablespoons capers - small or medium sized
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 small cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2-4 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
2-4 drops liquid smoke
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable oil
garnish: additional capers, 2 medium tomatoes (chopped coarsely), 1/2 green pepper (chopped coarsely)
Peel skin from eggplant. Place in work bowl of food processor. Add remaining ingredients, reserving some of the oil to use as needed (oil helps produce a smooth texture and creamy appearance). Taste and adjust seasonings - adding more salt, liquid smoke or vinegar as required. To serve, fold in additional capers, tomatoes and green pepper.
Offer with crackers, toasted pita wedges, or black bread. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer
This recipe is delicious! I have served it several times and people always rave. For a faster, easier version, I've used pureed eggplant that comes in a jar around the December holiday. Happy eating!
michelle giger, albuquerque nm
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